• Welcome
  • What to Expect
  • Children & Youth
  • Worship Schedule
  • Directions
  • Contact
  • Greetings,

    Welcome to the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, a community of people from all walks of life discovering the joy of knowing and following Jesus Christ. We gather on Sundays to hear the sacred stories of God’s love and to be spiritually nourished in sharing Holy Communion. Then, inspired by our fellowship, we strive to make God's love a living reality in our lives every day. At Bethesda, Sunday is the high point of the week. So, look around our web site. Then come and join us on a Sunday morning soon.

    Peace, The Rev. James Harlan, Rector

  • Every Sunday is where the life begins at Bethesda. We celebrate the Holy Eucharist with glorious liturgy and music. We also celebrate Holy Eucharist during the week and offer a healing service on Wednesdays. All baptized Christians are invited to participate in the Holy Eucharist when visiting Bethesda-by-the-Sea. It is not necessary to be a member of the Episcopal Church in order to receive Holy Communion. Persons who have not been baptized are welcome to come to the altar rail and kneel to receive a blessing. Cross your arms on your chest as a sign that you will not receive Communion. Click here for our service schedule.


  • FROM I-95

    Take the Okeechobee Blvd East exit (70). Travel East on Okeechobee Blvd to the Intracoastal Waterway. Cross over the Intracoastal Waterway, and continue going East to the second light (South County Road). Turn North (left) onto South County Road, and travel 1/2 mile. The church will be on the Right.


    Click here and scroll to Directions and Parking Information.

  • Having the faith of a child

    Children and youth bring such wonderful life and energy to our community. Bethesda offers a warm welcome to every child, whether parents prefer to bring their children into the worship service, or put them in the special children's worship (when available), or let them enjoy the nursery. We strive to create a place where even our littlest members know that God loves them, where all of us can grow in our faith, and where parents can find their own sense of peace and support.



  • God is Love

    Our worship is formal, intimate, transcendent, reflective, fun, and inspiring. As we celebrate our life together, we focus on God's love for each and every person and encourage one another to seek that loving presence of God. We have communion as an integral part of every service where we share together in a simple meal of bread and wine. While our worship may not be entirely familiar, we encourage everyone to join in as they are comfortable. Read more here.


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125 Years Ago

1889 was the beginning of our parish’s life. Four faithful people gathered here to worship and establish an Episcopal congregation on the shores of Lake Worth. more...

From the Associate for Administration

2013 was an exciting year for Bethesda and it was equally exciting for me and my family. Early in the year my wife accepted a faculty position and moved from our long time home in East Tennessee to sunny Florida. At the end of the summer my son moved away to start graduate school. Finally, to close out the year I joined my wife in Florida when I accepted the position here in beautiful Palm Beach at Bethesda-by-the-Sea. I am thankful and humbled to be afforded such a wonderful opportunity. more...


I enjoy working with engaged couples as they prepare, not just for the wedding, but more importantly for married life. For many who embark on the journey of a long-term, intimate relationship, the transition from being single to being a couple is full of blessings and great challenges. I describe one of the great and almost universal challenges as going from a mindset of “mine and yours” to one where we see everything in life as “ours.”more...

New Parents

I always love spending time with new parents. The arrival of an individual’s or couple’s new child is certainly one of the most significant events in life, and many people describe the experience as upending and changing everything. How many new parents come to a whole new realization that they need to make changes in their life to be able to fully welcome and embrace the new arrival? People find this the occasion where they finally stop smoking, or write a will, or add on to the house, or change their diet, or all kinds of other healthy, proactive choices. They find that these choices had been in front of them for some time, but they just did not feel motivated to take action. But when they come to see their life as about more than their own comfort and contentment, they find a new, deeper desire to effect those healthy changes.more...

What Is the Gospel?

The word means “good news.”  In the ancient world, news of any kind traveled painfully slow.  Critical news, like how your country was faring in battle, was entrusted to couriers.  You could spot a royal courier miles before he reached the city.  You could also tell by his pace and demeanor whether he was bringing good news or bad news.  more...

Children in Church

Dear Bethesda Family,more...

Worship at the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea

Anglicans (we Episcopalians are Anglicans) have a wonderful phrase:“the law of prayer is the law of belief,”or
to put it more simply “praying shapes believing.” Our worship is not intended simply to make us feel good or to comfort us but also to enable our spiritual growth and our learning the faith. In addition, Bethesda is a “big tent” wherein people from widely diverse backgrounds and experiences come together around the Lord’s table to share in our sacramental life.more...

Here we go again...

Yes it is that time again. Every three years we in the Episcopal Church hold our General Convention, one of the largest and longest regularly-held conventions in the country. And every three years, the secular press have a field day criticizing our process and our decisions, unfortunately most often from a place of alarming ignorance and judgment.more...